WHEN IS MALALA DAY?
The United Nations declared July 12th as Malala Day.
WHO IS MALALA?
Malala Yousafzai, after whom the day is named, was born on July 12th, 1997. She is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient in history. She was just 17 years old when she was awarded the accolade in 2014.
She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for advocating for the education of girls in her community. She survived and has dedicated her life to championing for the education of girls all over the world. She set up the Malala Fund to invest in efforts that empower local communities, develop innovative solutions that build upon traditional approaches, and deliver not just basic literacy but the tools, ideas and networks that can help girls find their voice and create a better tomorrow.
She was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls’ education by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.
She recently graduated from Oxford University!
WHAT’S THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS DAY TO THE WORLD?
Malala’s story is similar to the story of millions of girls all over the world. Girls whose futures have been dimmed by retrogressive, patriarchal and sexist traditions. Traditions designed to constrain their potential. To domesticate them. To tether their abilities to the mundane activities of home-keeping.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with home-keeping. However, there’s everything wrong with domesticating our girls while conveniently locking them out of decision-making. There’s everything wrong with deliberately preventing our girls from getting an education.
The iconic Maya Angelou once said;
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.”
There’s a Malala in each of us. A Malala who yearns for knowledge. A Malala who refuses to be hamstrung by social forces baying to impede her wholistic development. A Malala who is aware of the emancipating power of education. A Malala who believes in standing up for her truth. A Malala who believes that no one is ‘less than’.
Malala’s story is testament to the role that parents play in their children’s lives. Her parents were determined to giving her an education. No amount of threats could dissuade them. Thus Malala grew up knowing there are people committed to her success. People who would risk everything to give her the power she needed to liberate herself. The power of knowledge.
WHAT’S OUR INTEREST IN MALALA DAY?
As Malala once said at her address to an audience at the United Nations;
“Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
We at Dejmak believe in the education of girls. We believe that all girls should be given an opportunity to go to school. We believe that there’s no force as potent and as empowering as knowledge. We believe that education for girls is neither a waste of time nor a favor done to them. It is a basic right that should be provided to them. We stand in solidarity with all efforts to educate girls all over the world. We firmly believe that when you educate a girl, you educate an entire nation.
We believe in Touching Lives Through Books.